The need behind the face

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After returning from Uganda, I am still trying to readjust to the fast paced, overabundant and spoiled life in the United States. It is so hard to leave a country of devastating poverty and come home to a place of undeniable luxury. So many things have changed within my heart over the past few months leading up to my trip as well as the two weeks I spent there. Looking back, I felt God preparing my heart before embarking on my journey by changing my perspective and my outlook on what life is supposed to look like. As my vision changed, so did my heart. My heart was shaped into a softened mold that God was able to speak through and allow His Spirit to use. As each new day came and went throughout my two week journey, I felt God speaking and my heart was open to listening. Each day brought happiness, joy, strength, hurdles, sadness, hurt and compassion like I have never experienced before.

With each village visited, came a new set of faces. Faces that were overcome with joy but also, faces that have seen more in their lifetime than I could ever imagine. The faces painted with scars, hurts and tragedies from a past and also a present set of circumstances. On the outside, these faces seem to be bursting with joy and thankfulness for the small amount of gratitude shown to them by a group of “mzungus” but on the inside, they have hurts that we can’t even imagine. They have seen their share of death, suffering and torment with which they have lived through.

So with every encounter and with every God ordained meeting, I chose to look through the eyes of Jesus and see through the smiles and through the joy and look behind the face.

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A face

The simplicity

An image-bearer of our beautiful creator

An emotion bearer

A billboard of personality

Behind the face

A reflection of the heart

A long held locked gate

If opened,

A stream of scars

An ocean of sorrows

A wave of struggles

Will we look behind the face?

Will we use our time with each face?

Or will we choose to pass by the smile?

Will we use our flesh filled eyes or the loving eyes of our Savior?

With every face is a story.

With every story is a life.

With every life is a longing.

With every longing is a need.

That need is Jesus.

Will we take time to look behind the face?

With every face, there is a need.

Be the bridge to bring the need to the face.

Matthew 5:14

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.”

Restore Hope.

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Transforming Your Step Forward

Have you ever felt that you were on the edge of something so much bigger than yourself? As if God chose a work just for you to complete, you knew you were on the verge of completing it and you begin to take that step but that step quickly looks as if it is a mile long??

walk by faith

Waiting. We all find ourselves constantly in the waiting period. We get so caught up in the process of waiting that we fail to see God’s outlook on how and why we have to wait. You see I am in that stage of life. The point where the road ahead looks like it is paved in God’s goodness but just as moving forward takes a step, I feel that I am in the middle of taking that step and setting my foot back onto the pavement. Stepping out is hard but sometimes it is the process of stepping into the road ahead that tends to get us caught up. However, what if God is waiting for the pivotal moment to come that will place all your puzzle pieces together? What if all He needs is just a few more days, weeks, months or even years to get the plans He has for you in order?

2 Corinthians 5:7

“For we live by faith, not by sight.”

Are we willing to wait or are we more willing to take our step back in fear that we’ve waited long enough?

In my journey, I have found that not only does God want our time but He wants to show us through our time just how dependent on Him we need to be. In  few short days I will be traveling to a country where “the least of these” become more than just words on a page. These words will be brought to life in Uganda, Africa where I will be ministering to those who are in dire need of a Savior, my Savior. However, as I have waited many months to go on this journey, not that there are a few short days ahead, I find myself in the waiting process. The process of taking the step of faith but in the middle between taking the step and setting my foot back onto the pavement beneath that step. The word preparation comes to mind.

Am I prepared for what is about to take place?

What do I do with my “in-between” time?

Am I using my preparation time wisely?

How man I be more prepared?

These are just some of the questions that have plagued my thoughts over the last few days. All the while, God is whispering, “Nothing, daughter of Mine, can ever prepare you for the vast and unimaginable works that I have planned for you.” So you see, no amount of preparation, book reading, over packing or over planning can help me prepare for the amount of eye-opening experiences I am about to have. To me, this journey is my God-sized dream come to life. And every God-sized dream requires a God-sized outlook. Therefore, no amount of human planning can ever fully prepare someone for the work of the Lord.

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Isaiah 55:8-9

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Now don’t get me wrong, there is a difference between preparation and spiritual preparation. Spiritual preparation is a necessity for any big move of God. However, when the flesh desires to plan in the eyes of the flesh then that’s where planning turns into worry and worry is not of God. This is why when we allow our flesh to get in the way of our step forward into the plans He has for us, it is difficult for us to put our foot down onto the pavement.

This is why the in-between time can be the most important part of a faith journey. Because it is during that time when God can make way for His preparation in our hearts. No longer does it require our earthly preparation for the journey ahead but it requires a God-sized strength for a God-sized mission.

Your faith journey requires you to first step out. After stepping out, it is our job to stay on course with the guidance of God’s word or to choose to step back when the waiting becomes longer than what we intended. It is when we realize that the step onto the pavement has the power to transform the world for Christ’s glory that the step becomes an easy leap.

God never intended for our steps to be just steps forward but giant leaps toward the plans ahead of us.

So, let us not focus on the in-between stages in life but focus on how we can transform our steps into leaps for the glory of God!!

Allow Him to lay out your future and not your flesh.